I have been on a short story kick and am endlessly fascinated with folk tales. This is a great combination considering that I just spent a few weeks in Britain and had the perfect book on my Kindle for the occasion. Even better, my Kindle noted that it was available on Audible so I was able to do a little reading and a little listening, “the traditional way”.
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Botanical Folk Tales of Britain and Ireland
- Series: Folk Tales Series
- Author: Lisa Schneidau
- Publisher & Release: The History Press, 2018
- Length: 194 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ for fans of history and folk tales
Here’s the synopsis:
The islands of Britain and Ireland hold a rich heritage of plant folklore and wisdom, from the magical yew tree to the bad-tempered dandelion. Here are traditional tales about the trees and plants that shape our landscapes and our lives through the seasons. They explore the complex relationship between people and plants, in lowlands and uplands, fields, bogs, moors, woodlands and towns. Suitable for all ages, this is an essential collection of stories for anyone interested in botany, the environment and our living heritage.
I love that the book is organized by season. We start and end in winter, see the spring, summer, fall, and harvest before things get eerie again. These are shorter stories, some only a few paragraphs long, and seem like they were probably tamed down a bit from their originals to be suitable for all age groups.
I liked the more lighthearted tellings though because they still get the message across. I will definitely be checking out more from the author. She has at least two other books similar to this one!
Even with the brief tellings, this is a good way to get a feel for the types of tales being passed down and the themes involved. The changing landscape, dealing with poverty, fair folk, superstitions around plants and trees, and their medicinal uses are just some of the story trends.
It is also nice that each story got a brief introduction with the region it originated from and some history surrounding the subject matter. One very plain takeaway is that this region loves their planting and gardening traditions.
For the audiobook, I loved the narrator too. Joan Walker does voices quite well and keeps things interesting. I am taking it at face value that she’s pronouncing names correctly, I mean from what I heard while I was over there it seems legit and it was nice to have someone else figure out how to pronounce names 😅
Overall I’d definitely recommend this for everything from murderous trees to learning a few plant based facts! I actually learned quite a few interesting things and was able to read this rather quickly so it was a big overall win.
Thanks for checking out my book review of Botanical Folk Tales from Britain and Ireland by Lisa Schneidau! I originally purchased a copy for Kindle and supplemented it with the audiobook which was included in Audible. As always, all opinions are my own ♥️